As the Zimbabwean economy enters a new period of revival and renewal, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has gone on record to say that, if the country is to succeed in the global economy, empowering local entrepreneurs is critical1. Small businesses across the world play a vital role in sustaining national economies and, within this context, pioneering South African business incubator, Raizcorp, has formed a partnership with Dr Shingi Munyeza to start operations in Zimbabwe.
Dr Munyeza started his career in accounting before moving into advertising and then tourism. In 2010, Solusi University awarded him an honorary doctorate in business administration and development in recognition of his contribution to business development in the tourism sector2.
Says Allon Raiz, “We conducted thorough research before choosing a partner in Zimbabwe and Dr Munyeza’s name came up again and again. His experience as an entrepreneur and at running a large listed group makes him the ideal partner. He has a deep understanding of the entrepreneur’s plight and what is needed in order to succeed in the tough economic environment of Zimbabwe.”
Dr Munyeza adds, “We are very excited to be joining forces with an organisation such as Raizcorp which has an incredible reputation internationally. When I read that The Economist regards Raizcorp as the only genuine incubator in Africa, my first impression was confirmed that they would be the best partner. When I visited Raizcorp’s flagship operation in Johannesburg, I said to Allon Raiz that I wanted to replicate his model brick by brick in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s small business owners deserve the very best support possible.”
Raizcorp has been extremely encouraged by the interest shown by local corporates and multinationals in partnering with them to support entrepreneurs on various business development programmes. Some of the programmes are designed to support a more diverse supply chain, while others are aimed at helping corporates increase their distribution channels.
“We are deeply inspired by the recent changes in Zimbabwe and believe the country will once again takes its place as an economic powerhouse on the African continent. Zimbabweans are highly educated and highly resourceful, and entrepreneurship runs deep in their veins,” says Raiz.
The first Zimbabwean Prosperator™ – Raizcorp’s preferred term for incubator – will be located in Borrowdale, Harare.
Raizcorp Zimbabwe is currently in the process of staffing the first Prosperator™. All staff will be meticulously selected and sent to Raizcorp’s head office in Johannesburg for extensive training in preparation for local operations. At the same time, there will be a call to action for local entrepreneurs to start applying to join various world-renowned entrepreneurial programmes.
Raizcorp anticipates that more Prosperators™ will be set up across Zimbabwe in the future. With the revival in the country’s mining sector, the company believes that its Beacon model is ideal for setting up smaller incubation hubs in the areas surrounding mines. This will increase the number and sustainability of local suppliers to mining companies.–bulawayo24.com